Warm and a little wind… Chance and Cindy and I drove down to check cows and work on a water tank that has been running over.. the float arm had slipped where it hooks together.. them ol’ girls are sure cleaning up some old grass… had a saddle making apprentice show up about lunch time, so he worked on his saddle while I worked on one I am building.. we got in some good visiting.. solved half the worlds problems, at least! Looked down towards Tate and Kass’s and there were cows out…I started feeding towards evenings, to set the cows up when they star calving in a few weeks, so he left and I drove down in the pickup with two dogs.. Bit is a real wild child when it comes to working cows.. she needs more miles, but did do a good job of lying down when I told her to and could get her attention.. I need a small bunch of sheep to work her on and perfect her training, Peg Cindy’s dog is not a cow dog evidently, but then she is Aussie and to a year old and they take longer to mature, so who knows, she may make a cow dog yet…… we got the cows put back and discovered a gate that we left open, earlier… oh well, Bitty sure enjoyed it! Gabe and Arrabelle have State Wresting today so Gramma ad I are going down to watch and cheer them on in Rapid. I am sure we work as hard as them, while they have their matches…. looks like we got a chance at some rain in the next week.. sure beats snow.. but I will take any kind of moisture, as I really don’t have much say over it anyway…the calendar tells us it is now spring, but I think winter is going to try to come back at least once before it gives up the ghost..hope it stays cool long enough that we don’t get all the wild fruit blossomed out and then get a freeze, we haven’t had any wild plum jelly for a couple years now.. a neighbor lady is supposed to get me some wild grape sets that I can put out around all these rocks and see if the vines will grow up and around them… we have lots of scattered boards and stuff left over from the house build we need to get picked up, burnt and stored away, depending on whether it is something we can use or just fire wood.. we have several big tote bags filled up and I need conditions right so I can haul them to the dump and burn them.. wish we could put a regular wood burner in the house for heat, but it cost so dang much to do it up to code and if you don’t and you ever have a fire, the insurance won’t pay.. too bad these outdoor ones cost so much to set up… and about the time you got one set up you’d run out of extra wood to burn.. the neighbors have one but sounds to me like he can burn up a lot of wood and I don’t think he is too interested in this smaller odds and ends…

About an inch to maybe two.. but it’s wet.. the yard down at the old house is pretty muddy.. where the new house sets on the hill, it doesn’t get as muddy.. that is one of the reasons we built it where it is.. but it sure catches the wind! No new babies out there this morning when I checked.. this is supposed to blow over and warm back up… we can always use the moisture and as much as we’d like I guess we can’t always get warm rains with now wind.. in this country, you take what you can get, when you can get it, because you never know when they are gong to shut the spigot off!

Tho’ we’ve had some wind, but then, it is March and it is South Dakota…

Boys helped me get a bunch of my leather working tools and benches out of the old house and in to the new shop in the new basement, seems like I have more room, but you wouldn’t hardly know it… I need to get more shelves and places to store stuff… I can do some leather work now.. got a saddle to build and odds and ends of things that have been backing u while I was waiting to get this new shop set up. Tate has pretty much taken over the old house for his wood shop.. it’s odd to not have things where I don’t even have to think where they are, can just put my hand on them.. now I have to think and we all know how hard that is for me! Getting a few calves out of a small bunch of heifers of Dusty’s also a couple out of a few cows I bought last fall… sounds like we got a little moisture coming in in the next day or so, but it is the equinox and the old timers always said you’d get some at that time… so I guess we should expect it..

Weather, that is, must be up over 50 and supposed to do the same tomorrow… we got the cows in from the east pasture and sorted off ones in better shape and put them down south, there is grass down there and barrels, they don’t need hay and that is in short supply and not real cheap, so as long as we can, we’d like to save some.. then ones we kept in we used lice control on……, this dang pour on you use at preg time sure doesn’t seem to do any good for lice, I am about to quit using it and just plan on delousing them this time of the year… I kept the two ponies in as the crested is starting to green up and they are prone to grass founder and seeing as I kept them in I also kept the team in. Sam went with me and we harnessed and hooked them together and drove them around in the corral. Tate and boys showed up about then so Tate helped me hook them to the chariot and Lige opened the gate for me into the big corral.. they did good, seeing it’s been quite awhile since they were last driven, of course Roz is broke to death but her sister Rill is still plenty green, a few more trips and some miles and I could go to using them by myself.. it was nice to be out and about and be over dressed, hope it stays like this until late sprain then gets steal nice! Cindy came down to the old house and took all the stuff out of my Grandmothers china cabinet and Tate and I loaded and hulled it into the new house, so she’s puttering around cleaning it up, since Tate use the old house for his wood working shop there is sawdust on everything.. I need to get my leather working stuff up here, but started to paint on the floor in the basement and I am supposed to let it set a few days between coats of paint.. not sure how we will move all the benches thru’ all the stuff Tate has in there, but I bet we will figure something out..

I have been chastised, tho’ sweetly, by a friend, that I haven’t been posting.. she is not on Facebook so this is how she keeps up with the goings on around here.. not too much to tell, windy, cold frozen ice like snow and feeding cows precious hay…

I did load up 8 cows in the 22 foot stock trailer yesterday to haul to the sale barn.. I got about 50 miles from home and my wagon lost a wheel… it’s interesting when your driving along and notice a lone wheel trying to pass you.. my first thought was, “Huh? Wonder who lost that and why is it rolling down the road?” But of course with my lightning like reflexes in my brain it was a micro second later and I thought, “Hell! That’s MY wheel!” Never had that happen before, especially toodling along at 65 mph… Some nice people came along while I was trudging down the road to go fetch it, helped me load it in their trunk, hauled me the short ways to my outfit and I assured them I had a handle on it. I got a cell phone, right? So they left and I tried to call home, while driving very slowly down the road… the other tire was holding the load up pretty well tho’ kind of squishy looking…and called… and called… never could get the blasted phone to work. ( a nice lady later told me to shut it off and turn it back on and by golly, then it worked!) Finally came to a Tee in the road where a vet we use has a shop out on the lone prairie and of course several locals were drinking coffee and playing crib and just catching up, normal day… No one seemed to have a trailer dug out from the drifts that could haul my load, but I called the sale barn, got the boss and he said he’d see what he could do.. he called back later, said he hadn’t an luck yet, but was still working on it. Not long after that a young man came in and in the conversation, turns out he had just unhooked his trailer, he’d go get it and we’d load my cows on his trail.. I waited, he arrived, we transferred the load and away we went for the last 30 some miles.. Got to the barn, I paid him for his trouble, unloaded the cows and then went in search of a place to get my trailer fixed. When I got to the place I never noticed how icy it was so when I stepped out of Blue I fell and luckily caught most of the weight on my left elbow (I say luckily as it’s not my roping or writing arm, or for that matter the one I do too much with other than help me play chords on the guitar and I ain’t got any upcoming gigs right away. I do use it for the coils in my hand when propping but ain’t planning on any of that for a spell with all this dang ice and snow) I left the trailer, came home with out any more incidents and that is about it. Back to the ol’ boring hum drum, feed cows, listen to wind and hope for a warming spell that runs right smack dab into summer!

Sun is shining, no wind to speak of, snow is trying to melt.. really nice! Chance and i got the big bunch of cows in the corral.. I had to clean some gates of hard packed snow so they would swing, but then got them in, sorted off some more of the thinner backed ones and the ones moving slow.. this cold spell sure took some condition off them… these stay in closer and get fed better, tho’ the others get all they need, but now I can feed them further out and hopefully they will be able to move around and pick.. supposed to stay nice for the extended outlook, talking 45 on Wednesday.. I hope it stays good like they until spring then gets real nice!

Had my 59th birthday and had a real good day. Cindy fed me to good and spoiled me and got lots of notes from friends all over. All the boys called and the grankids all wished me a Happy birthday. It was one of the best I’ve ever had.

Been just above freezing for the highs the past week and some below temps, at least at night, then thew wind blows to the windchill is pretty cold. Been feeding quite a bit of hay, pushing some snow and staying warm. Sounds like we may get up in the 20’s tomorrow and then back to single digits for the rest of the week for highs and perhaps one more snow. Got some pretty big drifts and we’ve been pushing trails out. Cows are all close to the buildings so it’s pretty handy to feed. Wish I had a bale unrulier that would handle these heavier bales. Need to re-build the one I’ve got so the front don’t pop up in the air when you hook on to a bale and then make these fat horses do some work. The tractor wouldn’t run right the other day and it was ice in the water evaporator or separator or what ever. Had to run to Rapid and get a new fuel filter and it’s run fine ever since… sure glad Chance and Tate are better mechanics than I am! We put in a new tank just north of the new house and got it hooked up last fall, but the tire is too big and has too much rise in the center so it’s hard to keep enough water over the float and enough water circulating as cows drink it, to keep it working like it should. That is on the to do list for next summer… put in a smaller tire tank and make it work better.. may even cover it so it has less chance to freeze… this one has a cover on the cement ring in the middle where the inlet comes in, but it just isn’t deep enough, so twice a day at least, you go break ice so it will work right… sure am appreciating this front wheel assist tractor!

Well another 365 wrapped up, about. Not sure where this year went. We had a good calving season, pretty nice summer, tho’ we’d have taken more rain, pretty good fall and winter held off for awhile, tho’ it’s dang sure here now. Blizzard on Christmas day, knocking out power for a few days. Got some dandy drifts around. I’ve been moving snow on and off most days after feeding, worked on the basement a bit yesterday afternoon, worked on insulating the float in the tank north of the house today as there is a cold spell coming on. Hope we get a long January thaw that lasts until about mid May! Then it can get real nice! Cattle market sucked this fall, about half of what we got two years ago.. or would that be three years ago.. oh well, we all know that what goes up is bound to come down, but it’s not fun when your short on what you planned on… life goes on and so do we, hope that next year is a great one for everybody. I am about to go to Mass and then a dance at out new hall at Red Owl. Chance and I and Caden are going to jam a bit and hopefully a few others will bring some musical instruments and we all have a great time watching the New Year come in. “Should auld ………..……”

We saddled up, moved some cows a short ways and then I drug the kids around on the calf sled thru’ the snow. Hope got some great photo’s. The new header image is one she took. I am thinking there will be some art work come from some of these.

Supposed to get some snow late Saturday night thru’ Sunday and winds gusting to 70 mph Sunday night. Can you say Blizzard boys and girls?

They don’t phase us much this time of year when there ain’t baby calves being born. We can put out plenty of feed behind shelter for the cows… deals like this is why we have planted and tended to so many tree shelter belts and built windbreaks and then I just pray and ask God to protect all the poor creatures out in the cold. HE’s real good about that.

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and remember the reason we celebrate at this time of year. Hug your family and tell them you love them and call old friends and visit.